Orchid Arrangments

Twice a year, 75,000 visitors descend upon a small town in North Carolina for the High Point Furniture Market to see the latest in home furnishing from around the world. Solid Cherry dining room tables with walnut inlays, classic crystal chandeliers, teak bonded leather sofas, and sleek lined swivel chairs from Belgium are among the dazzling arrays of offerings in the 11 million square feet of exhibit halls. One design piece that is consistently displayed throughout the show is the “Orchid Arrangement.”

Orchids, it seems, have been taken to a new level. Interior designers are incorporating the unparalleled grace of America’s #1 houseplant in their layouts by combining multiple specimens in a single container in a way that is reminiscent of traditional cut flowers in a vase. Yet these blossoms are alive and will continue to look gorgeous for several months with minimal care.

An Orchid Arrangement can be as simple as a single plant in a fancy container with a little moss tucked around the edges. More commonly, however, Orchid Arrangements are elaborate with several blooming plants of varying style and complimentary colors, grouped with little pots of ferns or ivy, then accented with fascinating pieces of willow, all topped with an earthy moss. The container can be as basic or sophisticated as necessary to pull together a uniquely charming and eye catching living display.

Putting together a typical Orchid Arrangement is a fun process and the choices and combinations are practically endless. Branches from the willow family – curly, fantail, pussy – are best tied to the orchid stems or canes with natural raffia or green wire. The top dressing of mosses is equally varied - Spanish, sheet, green, or other naturally occurring varieties. The overall display should look full but not over-crowded.

Here are some suggestions:

1. Orchids – Dendrobium, Oncidium, Paphiopedilum, Phalaenopsis – LONG LASTING

2. Container – ceramic, wood, metal, glass, wicker, cement – BE CREATIVE

3. Staking – assorted willow – SUPPORTS PLANTS, GIVES MOTION

4. Filler plants – ivy, ferns, bromeliads, grasses – ADDS INTEREST

5. Top dressing – assorted mosses – COVERS BASE, SOFTENS LOOK

In most cases, decorative containers do not have drainage holes which means that the plants inside have to be watered individually. There are two options for watering: (1) Remove each plant and thoroughly water it at the sink. (2) Keep the arrangement together and squirt the potting media of each plant several times using a spray bottle.

When a single plant finishes flowering, it can be replaced with another blooming orchid with relative ease. 

Monday, October 1, 2012 - 17:00